The Supergrass – The Way We Were

Every Irish republican/resistance movement throughout the centuries  has been infiltrated by spies and informers.

“The Troubles” in Northern Ireland  were no different.


Wal Hannington, organiser of the 1930s Jarrow Hunger March in England, wrote

All militant movements in conflict with the powers are subject to the treachery of the unprincipled wretch who betrays those who have trusted him

andrew boyd

Andrew Boyd described an informer  

The informer is usually a person of disreputable and untrustworthy character. He will have been a participant in the crimes of which his former associates are accused. He may have been a perjurer in previous courts. He may be motivated by the fact he has been given immunity from prosecution, promised financial reward or offered some other benefit and will therefore be willing to give the sort of evidence the police expect him to give

Some of these observations certainly apply to

eamonn collins

Eamonn Collins, an IRA supergrass who retracted his statement.

Some obviously don’t

businessman symbol

Anonymous personal communication

I didn’t choose Eamonn Collins as an assistant after his retraction. He was assigned to me for a couple of months to help me out with a project I was working on. He was clever, efficient, very competent. You couldn’t fault his work. Everything I asked him to do was done perfectly, exactly when I needed it, as I needed it.  I hated him. He was responsible for blowing up my friend’s hotel. I was glad to see the back of him when he left” 

Here’s Eamonn Collins’s own story as he told it himself.


Eamonn Collins was killed in January 1999. His death might have been a revenge killing   for his  writings against the IRA and for his 1998 court testimony in Dublin against Thomas “Slab”Murphy. After his testimony, Collins was heard to shout, “No hard feelings Slab”.

No one has ever been convicted of his murder. As late as 2014  three men were arrested for it and released unconditionally

Eamonn Collins: Killing Rage

Wal Hannington: Unemployed Struggles 1919-1836

Andrew Boyd: The Informers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.